Wall Talks AAU Hoops, Recruiting

After leading Word of God to its second state title, John Wall is now setting his sights on the AAU circuit, looking to justify his five-star ranking.

After leading Word of God to its second state title, John Wall is now setting his sights on the AAU circuit, looking to justify his five-star ranking.

Wall certainly showcased his skill at this past weekend's Carolina Challenge, as he was the top prospect in attendance.

"With all eyes on him, Wall sliced his way to 27 points in his first outing and laid down the challenge to the other guards in camp," said Dave Telep, Scout.com's Recruiting Director and founder of the event. "It was a challenge that went unanswered as he continues to distance himself from the pack in his home state. Because of his speed and finishing ability, he's likely the hardest guard to check in the country off the bounce."

"Wall made his reputation last summer and certainly challenged for the top point guard spot, now it appears that he's on a mission to prove he deserves it," added Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Evan Daniels. "He got everyone's best defender on Saturday, but it didn't matter as he controlled every game he played in.

"In his first contest he attacked the basket hard and hit five And 1's. He also managed to knock down a pair of three-pointers. When attacking the basket, Wall is great at adjusting his shot and is a big time athlete with explosiveness going to the rim. Wall averaged 18 points per game."

As for Wall, he was looking to feel his way into each game while trying to be a leader for the other campers.

"I think I played good," he said. "I know you have to be good to be invited to that event so I was trying to see how all my teammates played and go from there. I know I had some other good players on my team, and I didn't want to come out and be a ballhog so I tried to get them involved and not force stuff. I was wanting to be a leader because I played in the Challenge last year."

A few players impressed Wall with their play.

"Ian Miller and Jacoby Davis, they played good for us," he said. "I always had a feeling that Daryl Traynham was good, and Mason Plumlee, he played real good. That was my first time really seeing him and he played strong against us."

Wall's high school teammate, C.J. Leslie, also turned some heads. Just a rising junior, Leslie continues to develop his game on the floor. Wall admits that their first season together at Word of God got off to a rocky start, but that has since changed.

"C.J., he can play," said Wall. "He's real good. When he first came to Word of God, we weren't playing well together because we both had been the stars on our own teams, so we sit down and talked. We talked about playing together and trying to win the title and now I think we're the best one-two combo in the state."

Wall will be suiting up this summer for D-One Sports. However, his first AAU event will be at Nike's Boo Williams Invitational.

"I know we play at Boo Williams next," he said. "We'll be playing there for the Carolina Ravens. I'm not sure what other tournaments are after that one, but I think we will be doing the [Bob] Gibbons [Tournament of Champions] again."

On the recruiting front, Wall maintains that he is wide open. He continues to watch schools and plans to wait awhile before making a decision.

"I don't have much of a list," he said. "I'm trying to look at the NCAA Tournament and then narrow it down from there. I hear from Memphis, I talk to coach Kellogg once and a while on the Internet. Florida State has called a lot lately... I've talked to them. I talk to Miami some, and NC State is right here so you know I talk to them.

"I think I'll probably do it towards the end of my senior season. I want to narrow it down and see how the teams and coaches do."

Wall created a bit of a stir locally with some comments he made to a News and Observer reporter while at the Carolina Challenge. He attempted to clarify those statements and has even spoken with NC State head coach Sidney Lowe about them.

"I read the [article] that was talking about coach Lowe," he said. "I didn't mean it how that was written. [A reporter] had asked me if I heard that if coach Lowe didn't get me he would get fired. I told him that wouldn't be fair to any coach, to be fired for not getting a player.

"But that doesn't mean I feel pressure to go there or have to go to State. I'm going to go where I want to go to college and what fits me best. I talked to coach Lowe and told him that I don't feel any pressure, and he was telling me that there wasn't anything to that, about him getting fired if I don't go to State."

What does Wall think about some of the programs that he is considering?

Florida State: "I like the way they let their guards play. I saw them play Carolina and they were letting Jason Rich and those guys just play. I talked to the coach the other day, and he wanted to get me down so I can get to know them better."

Miami: "I've talked to coach Haith... he's come to my school and talked with me and we've built some chemistry. We can trust each other."

Kentucky: "I like the school. I've been there twice. They have a couple of point guards committed, but schools are going to have people sign. It's still one of the schools I'm considering."

Kansas: "I like that school. They want their guards to get out and push it."

Oregon: "I like the way they play. They try to push it like Kansas, and they let you play and create with the ball. I also had good time talking to their head coach."

Memphis: "They get out and push it too. They have one of my favorite college players, Derrick Rose."

Virginia: "I like them because they let Sean Singletary play when they need buckets. He's their main guy that can penetrate, but they have other guys who can step up and shoot."

NC State: "It's the home school... that's something coach Lowe has talked about. Plus, he's coached in the NBA and he's played in the NBA. He knows what it takes to get there and play there."

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